Next week House of Sparky will begin our "#SunDevilMoments" tournament, with the 16 best moments from the athletic season. This week we will randomly introduce all 16 moments, then reveal our seedings and match-ups next week, where you, the reader, will vote on what was the ASU athletics Moment of the Year.
For the last several years, the Arizona State athletic department has repeatedly addressed the need to renovate Sun Devil Stadium, the structure built in 1958 famous for being wedged between two buttes.
The problem, however, was finalizing plans to actually send the construction crew to begin them.
Since then-athletic director Steve Patterson announced the initial renovation plans in April 2012, there was much debate on a number of issues. How much would the renovations cost? How long would they take? From where would Arizona State get the money to finance it? Will there be a new roof over the stadium, and would it still allow the signature in-game fireworks? Would ASU football have to play somewhere else during the renovation process?
The hurdles turned the idea into a two-year soap opera that was almost as tiring as the Mayweather-Pacquiao saga.
The project was revived in January 2014 when newly-hired athletic director Ray Anderson introduced a new renovation campaign called "Momentum," but asked the ASU community to help contribute $85 million. While plans continued to be worked, Arizona State got the ball rolling by knocking out the upper north endzone deck prior to the start of the 2014 football season. ASU then released an updated plan in August 2014, announcing the budget to be $256 million.
The plans became closer to a reality in January when ASU sent another construction crew to demolish the south endzone seating, and had the Arizona Board of Regents approved financing for Phase I, which calls for building permanent, concrete seating in the south endzone that would designate the new student section.
You can bet ASU coach Todd Graham is excited for these changes.
Coach Graham is committed to the reinvention of Sun Devil Stadium. Watch as he helps the construction process: https://t.co/xTQhdMhMzb— Sun Devil Athletics (@TheSunDevils) February 10, 2015
Since January, the construction crew has remained at Sun Devil Stadium, working through several events like the Spring Game, Pat's Run and the spring commencement ceremony.
The renovation process has only started and final plans still appear to be a work in progress, but ASU fans should be nothing but excited to see these changes finally coming. A reinvented Sun Devil Stadium is just another sign of a promising, new era in the athletic department. Even with renderings available, we're still not too sure what the final product would look like, but we're confident it's going to be first-class.
We saw this moment as the No. 16 moment of the ASU athletic season. It will be up the readers, beginning next week, to see how far this moment goes in our bracket.